Documents reveal inspectors from the USPS have been spying on Americans and conservative groups
U.S.A.: According to Patrick Eddington, a senior official of the CATO Institute, the United States Postal Service, or USPS, has been conducting online surveillance to spy on people, particularly those with ties to Trump, conservative organizations and the Republican party in general.
Eddington retrieved heavily redacted documents through a Freedom of Information Act. The act, which was adopted in 1966, allows anyone to gain access to government information.
This includes memos, laws, rules, policies, procedures and more.
Eddington acquired the documents using these channels, in partnership with the Cato Institute.
The Cato Institute is a public policy research institution who wants to promote and continue libertarian ideas.
According to their website, cato.org, they state:
“Our mission is to originate, disseminate, and advance solutions based on the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace.”
The work they provide balances any government or political agenda to preserve these important American values.
Eddington was instrumental in acquiring these alarming documents, and American’s need to know about what the USPS was up to.
According to an article written by Ken Macon of reclaimthenet.com, he wrote:
“According to the records, between September 2020 and April 2021, postal inspectors spied on protests, including through a covert social media surveillance program dubbed the Internet Covert Operations Program (iCOP).”
Inspectors went well beyond their typical roles of responsibilities, just to pursue an agenda. They are also the least likely to be suspected of spying on people and businesses. But they did it anyway.
And they weren’t just going after everyone, they targeted specific groups with conservative affiliations.
According to an article by the Washington Times, it stated:
“Postal inspectors tracked the actions of gun rights activists gathering in Richmond, Virginia; people preparing to demonstrate against police in Louisville, Kentucky, after an investigation into the police shooting of Breonna Taylor; and far-right groups headed to the District of Columbia after Mr. Biden’s election.”
The postal inspectors also went to great lengths to attempt to conceal and cover themselves. They routinely sent out bulletins to inform others in the surveillance arena of important issues at hand.
Within these bulletins included a disclaimer that the ‘surveillance program’ is designed to provide law enforcement with information that could lead to potential criminal activity and/or violence.
But the inspectors just couldn’t resist.
The inspection branch of the USPS did, however, try to defend its position of spying on Americans, especially Americans with conservative political views.
Their position was that its inspectors are trained observers in a federal law enforcement capacity whose job is to protect its staff and facilities.
In the column written by Macon, he wrote:
“‘The U.S. Postal Inspection Service occasionally reviews publicly available information in order to assess potential safety or security threats to Postal Service employees, facilities, operations, and infrastructure, the agency said in a statement.”
That sounds like a standard justification response for an agency that was up to no good. But there were red flags and whistleblowers leading up to the discovery of misuse and abuse by the USPS inspectors.
The column stated:
“However, last year, the USPS inspector general said that the surveillance was an overreach and potentially illegal. The institution faced backlash over its covert program to scan citizens’ social media accounts for “inflammatory” content.”
Another issue that came up is the source of the funding for such a program.
The USPS has been notorious for losing money- having gaping overlapping services loaded with waste, red tape and immersed in bureaucracy.
Their financial troubles over the years have worsened with the rise of more dependable, reliable and competent delivery services provided by private companies such as UPS, FedEx and others.
For the USPS to have money in their budget to spy on conservative groups and Americans, is a miracle itself.
The column stated:
“The Kentucky representative Thomas Massie expressed his concern over the USPS’s move. “The USPS has been losing money for many years … so where do they find money to run this surveillance program?’”
Eddington told the Washington Times that:
“The Postal Service cannot reliably deliver mail to my own home, yet they can find the money and people to effectively digitally spy at scale, including on Americans engaged in First Amendment-protected activities.”
This is still a developing story as more and more facts are likely to be released over the coming days and weeks.
And if you already had little faith in the USPS, here’s another reason to stay that way.
In other spying news…
Blacklisted Chinese firm believed to be spying on U.S. missile silos – from within America
Posted July 23, 2022
WASHINGTON, DC- The Daily Caller and several other news outlets are reporting the Commerce Department is investigating a Chinese telecom firm which has previously been blacklisted over concerns they may be spying on U.S. missile silos.
U.S. officials launched the probe into Huawei for possible surveillance capabilities at cellphone towers located adjacent or near U.S. military bases and missile silos, the DC said citing a Reuters report.
Authorities are concerned the communist nation could exploit the Chinese tech giant’s communications equipment in our country to gather sensitive data on military procedures and personnel, Reuters said on Thursday. The investigation was reportedly opened by Commerce in 2021.
Brendan Carr, senior Republican on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) told Reuters that the company’s equipment located near military bases, including Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, would allow the Chicoms to conduct surveillance on troop movements and other electronic activities, which would possibly signal any future missile strike on China, he said.
That’s ok. Our military is worried about serving vegan protein substitutes, teaching proper pronouns and hosting drag queen shows at our military bases. Not to worry, America.
In April 2021, the Commerce Department issued a subpoena to Huawei for disclosures on the company’s data collection and sharing policies, as outlined in a 10-page document seen by Reuters. It’s alleged that Huawei could access information related to cellphone usage, including message contents and geolocation data.
According to Fox Business, Huawei, one of the largest computer manufacturers in the world, is registered under the auspices of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Fox reports the White House is investigating cellphone tower hardware produced by the company and its capabilities concerning the logging of information of those who use the company’s infrastructure.
A trove of Huawei company files, some allegedly marked confidential, were leaked in a Washington Post report last December.
Meanwhile newly uncovered documents confirm that Huawei has been more involved with Chinese Communist Party surveillance operations than it has previously admitted, the Post reports.
According to Fox, US officials have previously strongly suggested government agencies ditch Huawei smartphones and laptops due to security concerns.
In December, the National Security Council announced the White House was taking a cautious approach toward the company after it was linked to mass surveillance campaigns by the CCP.
“Protecting U.S. persons’ safety and security against malign information collection is vital to protecting our economy and national security,” a spokesperson for the Commerce Department told Reuters. The spokesperson, however, could not “confirm or deny ongoing investigations.”
The company has been under scrutiny for some time due to its vast telecommunications infrastructure and close ties to the CCP. Former President Trump blacklisted the company in May 2019 on national security grounds.
It was the Trump administration that gave the Commerce Department investigative authority in 2019.
According to a 2019 Trump executive order, one of few which Biden has left in place, Commerce could completely ban U.S. companies from dealing with Huawei if it is determined the conglomerate poses a significant threat to U.S. national security. That same executive order also demands U.S. carriers replace Huawei equipment in that case, Reuters said.
Politico reported that somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 smaller wireless carriers are seeking to remove gear from Huawei and other Chinese companies, however do not have sufficient funds to do so.
While Congress allocated $1.9 billion to assist companies in moving away from Chinese equipment in the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019, the FCC said last week that the program requires an additional $3.1 billion in funding, Reuters reported.
The Chinese, however, don’t seem to be buying the public comments coming from the U.S. government, according to the Global Times, a Chinese state-run media outlet.
“The US has to provide evidence to prove its so-called ‘national security’ concerns, and how the data can be transferred to China,” Xiang Ligang, director-general of the Information Consumption Alliance told the Global Times Friday.
“Smearing Chinese firms, including Huawei and creating barriers for their development, is the true intention behind the investigation,” Xiang continued.
The Daily Caller reached out to the Department of Commerce Office of International Affairs, which declined to comment. Likewise, the Department of Commerce, Huawei, the Chinese Embassy to the U.S. and the Chinese Foreign Ministry didn’t respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.
More spying issues on American soil.
Spy Game: Two DHS security employees charged in America with acting on behalf of the Chinese government
Posted July 10, 2022
WASHINGTON, DC – Five men have been indicted on allegations of acting as Chinese agents. Four of those men have been arrested, one is still on the run.
Two of them were currently or formerly employed by the Department of Homeland Security.
Qiang “Jason” Sun, Fan “Frank” Liu, and Matthew Ziburis are all believed to have used classified information to discredit pro-democracy Chinese dissidents by pushing negative information about them.
The men were charged in what federal law enforcement has called a “transnational repression scheme.” They say it was used to spy on and harass Chinese dissidents living in the U.S.
The Department of Justice announced last Thursday that Craig Miller and Derrick Taylor were arrested in connection with the case.
Andy Vermaut shares:Two US Homeland Security staff indicted for working for China: WASHINGTON D.C.: U.S. prosecutors have charged two men, Craig Miller and Derrick Taylor, with being agents of the Chinese government.
— Andy Vermaut (@AndyVermaut) July 10, 2022
Miller has been a deportation officer with the agency for 15 years. Taylor is a retired agent who now works in California as a private investigator.
Prosecutors say that the men were part of a group that was involved in the procurement and dissemination of confidential information from a restricted federal law enforcement database that detailed U.S.-based dissidents from the People’s Republic of China.
Both men are also charged with obstruction and destruction of evidence. Taylor is also facing a count of lying to the FBI.
If convicted, Miller is facing up to 20 years in prison, Taylor is looking at 25.
Two of the other men involved were allegedly using the information in the way that the DOJ described. These two men were also arrested previously attempting to target Americans whose political views and actions were not in favor of the Chinese government.
According to a release from the Department of Justice:
“…one of Liu’s co-conspirators (‘Co-conspirator’) retained Taylor to obtain personal identification information regarding multiple PRC dissidents residing in the United States, including passport information and photos, and flight and immigration records, which Taylor allegedly tasked to two DHS law enforcement officers, including Miller.
As alleged, Miller and the other DHS agent obtained the information from the restricted database and improperly provided it to Taylor, who shared it with the Co-conspirator. Liu, Ziburis and Sun used this information to target and harass these U.S. residents while acting on behalf of the PRC government.
According to court documents, Miller and Taylor both lied about their past conduct when confronted by the FBI. According to the indictment, Miller deleted text messages with Taylor from his phone while being interviewed by the FBI, and Taylor instructed a co-conspirator to withhold evidence from the U.S. government.
When interviewed by the FBI, Taylor falsely claimed that he obtained the records in question from a friend who was using the ‘Black Dark Web’ — likely a reference to the dark web.
According to the indictment, the Co-conspirator called Taylor and claimed he received a subpoena from the Department of Justice seeking the Co-conspirator’s communications with Taylor, and Taylor directed the Co-conspirator to withhold such information from the U.S. government.”
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, weighed in on what is happening, telling CBS News:
“As alleged, this case involves a multifaceted campaign to silence, harass, discredit and spy on U.S. residents for exercising their freedom of speech – aided by a current federal law enforcement officer and a private investigator who provided confidential information about U.S. residents from a restricted law enforcement database, and when confronted about their improper conduct, lied and destroyed evidence.
This Office will always work closely with our law enforcement partners to root out corrupt officials in all levels of government and will prosecute those who act on behalf of a hostile foreign state to target the free speech of U.S. residents on American soil.”
Matthew Olsen, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, said:
“We will defend the rights of people in the United States to engage in free speech and political expression. These individuals aided agents of a foreign government in seeking to suppress dissenting voices who have taken refuge here.”
U.S. News & World Report spoke with the Chinese Embassy in Washington. Their spokesperson, Liu Pengyu, said they were “not aware of this specific situation,” but firmly oppose “acts by the U.S. government that groundlessly malign and smear China.”
“[We] always ask overseas Chinese citizens to comply with the host country’s laws and regulations,” Pengyu said.
This is a developing story. We will provide more details as they become available or should the fifth individual be apprehended.